Month: April 2014
How To Fuel Your Body And Maximize Your Energy
It’s true that you “are what you eat” and in order to promote healthy muscle building or toning (and not muscle wasting) you need to consume a generous amount of high quality protein, healthy fats and veggies.
Here’s a great list to guide you in your choices of what to eat each day:
- 4 to 8 servings of high quality protein. A serving example would be 3 ounces of meat, 3 eggs or 1-2 scoops of whey protein powder.
- 1 to 2 servings of nuts, seeds, nut butter or avocado. A serving example would be a handful of nuts or seeds, 1-2 tablespoons of a nut butter or ½ an avocado.
- 3 to 5 servings of low starch vegetables. A serving example would be 1 cup or about the size of the palm of your hand.
- 2 to 4 servings of healthy fats and oils. A serving size would be like a teaspoon of olive oil or a pat of butter while cooking.
- 2 to 4 servings of low glycemic fruit, such as berries. A serving size would be about the size of the palm of your hand.
- 2 to 4 servings of a dairy product. A serving size would be considered a cup of milk, a half a cup to a cup of cottage cheese or yogurt, or 1 ounce of cheese.
- drink your weight in ounces of water each day
Add in exercise a minimum of 3 days a week and you’ll feel amazing!
12 Great Easy High Protein Foods
Protein is a life sustaining macro nutrient composed of essential and non-essential amino acids required for the proper growth and function of the human body. Our bodies can manufacture several of the amino acids required for protein production, but it cannot produce the essential amino acids. These need to be obtained from an animal source or combined vegetable sources, or both.
The easiest way is through animal protein because they contain ALL of the essential amino acids. If you are a vegetarian, then you will have to eat variety of plant foods to achieve the same result.
How much protein do we need to eat each day? There is considerable debate on this subject, but a good rule of thumb is to eat .5 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. If you are more active or doing bodybuilding, then increasing your protein intake might be necessary. Eating too much doesn’t do more because your body can only process so much protein at once. It’s best to eat it throughout the day. Not getting enough protein can lead to muscle atrophy, and impaired functioning of the human body in general.
What are some easy high protein foods to eat?
- Whey protein powder, 1 scoop = 15-23 grams (varies)
- Cheese, a 2 ounce slice = 18 grams
- Chicken breast = 17 grams
- Eggs, 2 large = 12 grams
- Beef, 6 ounces = 38 grams
- Pork chop, 5 ounces = 33 grams
- Black beans, 1 cup = 15 grams
- Tofu, 3 ounces = 6 grams
- Milk, 1 cup = 14 grams
- Peanuts, 1 ounce = 7 grams
- Almonds, 1 ounce = 6 grams
- Fish, a 3 ounce fillet = 22 grams
Make sure to get the proper amount of healthy protein your body needs each day!
Magnesium’s Magnificent Healing Properties
Magnesium is a powerful mineral occurring naturally in our body and that many people are severely lacking. This can have a pretty negative effect since it aids in the function of over 300 different enzymes and biochemical reactions in the body. The best way you can tell if you are deficient is to eat foods that are rich in magnesium or try supplementing and see how you feel. You will likely notice a difference right away. Magnesium rich foods are things like assorted nuts, legumes and green leafy vegetables. Another great way to get your magnesium is a secret that our grandparents knew, to soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts.This allows you to directly absorb it through your skin.
What are just some of the great benefits of magnesium?
It supports bone strength. Half of our magnesium is stored in our bones, so supporting those levels is hugely important for us to maintain healthy bones. Magnesium also helps the transportation of calcium, another mineral in our body that prevents the loss of bone density, especially as we age.
Prevention of type-2 diabetes. Magnesium helps with carbohydrate metabolism and directly influences insulin activity, which controls our blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that for every 100 mg of magnesium we intake, there is a 15% decrease in the direct risk of getting type-2 diabetes.
Digestive support. Magnesium plays a big role in the digestive process because it is a coenzyme in the intestines that assists in the natural production of hydrochloric acid in the gut necessary to break down the food we eat. It’s also great to naturally relieve constipation.
Supports heart health. Magnesium aids in maintaining a normal heart rhythm, strengthening our muscles, especially the heart which is one of our biggest muscles, and aids in rebuilding our blood vessels. It plays a key role in the prevention of an irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
Helps with migraines, insomnia and even depression. It has even worked to cure severe psychiatric issues such as panic attacks, anxiety, and even a difficult agitative state. Magnesium not only significantly reduces the severity of all of these conditions, but also lowers their recurrence rate.
Great stress reliever. When we are hit with stress, magnesium can play a key role in relieving it immediately by relaxing the body as part of a natural hormonal response and naturally lowers blood pressure.
Premenstrual symptoms reliever. As a natural muscle relaxer, magnesium also aids in the relief of premenstrual cramps, and acts as a diuretic eliminating fluid retention that causes bloating and breast tenderness.
It’s hard to believe how much this natural mineral can do for us each day. Try adding it to your diet and see how you feel!
The Soy Debate – Is It Good For You Or Not?
The soy controversy is highly debated these days among nutritionists. On the one hand, soy has become extremely popular, and on the other hand, the potential health risks have also become widely recognized. So, is it healthy or not so healthy to consume soy products?
The known benefits to soy:
- It can be prepared in many different ways as an alternative to meat products.
- It’s a source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
- Soy milk is a common alternative to cow’s milk for people who are lactose sensitive or lactose intolerant.
- Some studies have shown that consuming soy is helpful in increasing HDL (our good cholesterol) and possibly it has antioxidants that protect an increase in our LDL levels (the bad cholesterol).
- Even more recently, there have been some studies done on the isoflavones found in soy. Their estrogen like properties can support bone strength and improve the symptoms of women going through menopause.
The potential health risks to soy:
- Soy that is grown in America is genetically modified and usually not labeled as such.
- There are recent studies showing that soy contains phytoestrogens. If you consume too much soy in your diet you can actually produce too much estrogen in the body, which is especially unhealthy for young children and males. In women, this can lead to an increased chance of developing breast cancer or uterine fibroids.
- Soy phytoestrogens can also cause thyroid disease and an increased risk of autoimmune disease, especially in babies or young children. It’s a very popular alternative formula for infants when they can’t tolerate regular cow’s milk products.
- Many of the meat replacement soy products, such as soy burgers, are highly processed containing unnatural toxins and can contain high levels of unhealthy preservatives and high levels of sodium.
- Some people have an allergic reaction to soy and don’t feel well after consuming it or even develop hives or general itching. You may not realize it is the culprit because soy is hidden in a lot of processed foods.
The best you can do is educate yourself so you can make your own informed decision on whether or not soy is good for you and your family. If you do choose to consume soy, edamame is a good choice because it is not processed, as well as fermented tofu.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Organic?
When it comes to fruits and vegetables especially, eating organic is highly beneficial. The main difference between eating conventionally farmed produce and organic is that organic growers do not spray their farms with herbicides and pesticides. The chemicals used have been positively linked to numerous health problems such as cancer, unhealthy hormone changes and toxicity in the nervous system and brain. These toxic chemicals were designed to kill small pests instantly, so how can it be healthy for people to ingest? Washing the produce before eating it helps, but definitely does not remove all of it. A toxic chemical residue remains.
Some great reasons to eat organic:
- You avoid all pesticides and herbicides.
- The produce is typically 25% more nutritious with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so it’s worth it to pay a little more! You’re still getting your value from it.
- It supports responsible and sustainable farming techniques, eliminating these toxic chemicals from getting into our environment (air, soil and water supply). In turn, the farmers are also protected from their toxicity.
- It actually tastes better!
The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, keeps a great list of absolute foods that you should ONLY eat organic, called The Dirty Dozen, and also a list of the Clean Fifteen that are the conventionally grown foods that are safe to eat. Here is a link to their website http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
Based on their recommendation, here are the foods you should always eat organic:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Summer squash
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Hot Peppers
- Dark leafy greens
A few of my favorites from the Clean Fifteen list:
- Sweet potatoes
You should always wash your fruits and veggies with a veggie wash before eating them, but at least buying all of these foods as organic, assures you that you’re not consuming ANY bad chemicals!
Support a responsible organic farmer and buy organic today!
Kambucha For Your Health
What is Kambucha? If you’ve never heard of it, it is a great drink that can really boost your health. It was believed to have been originally from Asia and spread from the Far East to Europe and today it is practically a staple in the diets of the health and wellness groups all over the world.
It is made from a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), which is a rubbery organism that you put in sweetened green or black tea. You let it ferment in a glass container for about a week or so. As a culture, the SCOBY will digest the sugar in the tea and all its own will produce multiple organic acids, vitamin C and B, enzymes and amino acids. You can then add more tea, fruit juice or fruit to flavor this now fizzy delicious drink.
So what great things does Kambucha do?
- gives you acidic probiotcs that support the good flora in your gut
- helps with digestion
- prevents the growth or overgrowth of candida (yeast)
- detoxes your body
- the large number of enzymes supports the pancreas and liver
- it contains glucosamines that prevent joint degeneration
- it produces vitamin B3 which improves blood flow
- it is filled with powerful antioxidants
- supports your immune system
- gives you energy
- protects your intestines and keep pathogens and parasites away
If you want to have some fun, try making this healthy drink at home!